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Metaphor Use

Here is an interesting research study about how metaphor use in discussion about crime affects people’s perceptions and reactions.
How metaphors shape the debate about crime fighting.

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Two Coaching Models

©2011 by Dr. Brian Cullen
This article briefly describes two models that can be used in coaching.

Logical Levels

A common model used in NLP, life coaching, and business coaching is Robert Dilt’s Logical Levels, also called by several other names such as Neuro-Logical levels. In this model, a person is asked to view their goals, issues and actions at a number of levels. These are described briefly below with some questions that can be asked to elicit that particular level.


This is the lowest level and includes our workplace, our homes, and our neighbourhoods. It can also refer to the interaction environments of a relationship, for example a husband and wife, or a boss and employee.
Think of the situation where you have this issue. What do you see around you? Who is there?


What are you doing in that situation?


What could you be doing in that situation? Are there other behaviours that you are capable of that could produce a more useful result?

Beliefs and Values

What do you believe about that situation? What is important to you about that situation? How would the situation have to be completely resolved so that you felt good about it?


Who are you in that situation?
Dilts suggests taking a step forward for each level to provide a series of kinesthetic anchors. Above the Identity level, it may also be useful to step into the Spirit level asking a question like What is beyond you or bigger than you that you want to contribute to through this situation?


Another model used in coaching that is very similar to the Logical Levels is based on the idea of a series of concentric circles spreading out from a person. Below, I have used a formulation of this model presented by Steve G. Jones. This model is generally used by the coach to apply to herself, so the center of all the circles can be considered to be the coach herself.

Inner Circle: Self-Awareness

The inner circle corresponds to Dilts’ idea of Identity and perhaps includes some of the Spirit level. In this circle, the coach becomes aware of her own identity, becoming centered in her own body and identity so that she can have the resources to help another person.

2nd Circle: Needs, Values, and Beliefs

This corresponds directly to Dilts’ level of Beliefs and Values. The coach moves outward from the core identity and recognizes the beliefs and values that she is bringing to a coaching situation. While the coach may not agree with all the client’s beliefs and values, an assessment of her own beliefs and values will better allow her to keep in mind that the map is not the territory and that different beliefs and values may be equally valid.

3rd Circle: Exploring options and taking action

This combines the Capabilities and Behaviours levels of Dilts’ model. In this circle, the coach considers the options available to coach a client towards fulfilling his goals and begins to take actions to move the client forward. This combination of two levels does perhaps have the disadvantage of over-equating capabilities and behaviours and overlooking other possible alternatives which may be available.

4th Circle: Empowering Questions

The 4th circle is the outer circle of this model of coaching and expands as necessary. The use of questions rather than advice, critique, or other words is interesting since it reminds us that the onus for change is ultimately on the client rather than the coach. The coach is the one who can help the client to reach greater self-awareness and to recognize his resources, but it is the client who must respond to the empowering questions with actions that will allow him to achieve his goals.

Blog NLP

Dementors and the Time-Turner

©2011 by Dr. Brian Cullen & Sarah Mulvey
In a previous article, I showed how J. K. Rowling’s amazing magical instrument, The Sorting Hat, can be seen as a metaphor for the choices that we make in our lives. I chose this metaphor to show how NLP itself is fundamentally about increasing the choices in our lives. When we increase our choices, we can follow our own roads rather than those assigned not only by others but also by our own past experiences. In this article, I continue to explore the rich world of Harry Potter, again viewing the magical instruments of Rowling’s imaginary world as rich metaphors for understanding and applying the techniques and concepts of NLP.
The Time-Turner
A key element in the third volume of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowlings, 1999) is the Time-Turner, a tiny sparkling hour-glass that allows the user to go back in time. Although its use is strictly regulated by the Ministry of Magic, the highly studious Hermione is allowed to borrow the Time-Turner from Professor McGonagall so that she can attend more than one class in any specific time period at the school. However, when Harry and his friends later use the Time-Turner, it is for the much more important purpose of saving the lives of Sirius Black and others. The Time-Turner allows them to go back to view themselves carrying out the unresolved experiences of an earlier time in their lives. They can then take the appropriate actions necessary to resolve those experiences in a more beneficial way that will as the changes spread out through their future.
Although the use of the Time-Turner for such purposes is illegal in the magical world of Harry Potter, in NLP terms the magical Time-Turner can be seen as equivalent to Time Line work, and it is not only legal but also very powerful. Dilts and Delozier (2000) discuss the historical development of the notion of Time Lines in the writings of Aristotle, William James, Sigmund Freud, and later in the work of Richard Bandler, John Grinder, and Tad James. Dilts and Delozier summarize the idea as:

The ‘present’ is one’s current physical position, with the ‘future’ represented as a line extending off in front of oneself and the past trailing behind – such that one is walking into the future and leaving the past behind. One could, however, reverse one’s direction and walk back into the past.

In other words, the human mind encodes time in very specific ways by visualizing time as a line in the external world. Walking along this Time Line allows us to revisit earlier experiences that are encoded in our unconscious memories. If you walk back along your Time Line, you can see a younger version of yourself and see what resources that younger you needed at that time. Then you can potentially send a message to your younger self in some way, and as those changes percolate along your Time Line and through your unconscious, you may find that you can make a change in the present. In NLP terms, the magical Time-Turner allows Harry and his friends to walk or even make great leaps back along their Time Line to revisit the experiences that must be resolved in the past in order to create a better present.
The Dementors
A second key element in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the introduction of the Dementors, certainly the most horrific creatures in the Harry Potter series. Their reputation for destruction precedes them so much that the powerful Headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore, says that “no Dementor will cross the threshold of this castle while I am Headmaster” (p. 180). Professor Lupin describes the horror of the Dementors in detail to Harry:

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them…. Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory, will be sucked out of you …. You’ll be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.

The witches and wizards in Harry Potter’s world can see the Dementors as physical beings. In our own non-magical Muggle world, we cannot see the Dementors, but even Muggles like us can feel their presence when they pass by, causing us to experience a draining of hope and happiness from the air. When we get trapped into certain ways of thinking and acting because of traumatic past experiences, Rowlings suggests that a Dementor may be nearby. In NLP terms, the Dementors bring back memories of bad experiences from the past and force us to keep reliving them. We tend to associate directly back into those memories again and again, and relive all the pain as if that earlier experience were happening in the present.
The first time that Harry encounters the Dementors, he hears the echo of the voices of his dying parents in his head. The effect on him is so strong that he collapses. In another instance, while playing the sport Quiddich, he falls off his broomstick fifty feet to the ground, and ends up in the school hospital. Harry asks Lupin why he is more affected by the Dementors than other people, assuming that he must be weak in some way.

‘It has nothing to do with weakness,’ said Professor Lupin sharply…. ‘the Dementors affect you worse than the others because there are horrors in your past that the others don’t have.’ (p. 203)

It is our own past experiences, and especially how we view them, that can cause us to be susceptible to the horror of our own Dementors. At the prison, Azkaban, which is guarded by Dementors:

… they don’t need walls and water to keep the prisoners in, not when they’re all trapped inside their own heads, incapable of a single cheerful thought. Most of them go mad within weeks. (p. 204)

In the same way, people who have suffered traumatizing experiences can continue to suffer from them years later as they associate into those moments of trauma again and again. As they relive these traumas, they feel unable to get over the incident and onto happier thoughts. A trauma is similar to an Azkaban inside our own head, a prison in which we are trapped and cannot see that the key and a pathway forward are already there in front of us. The way forward and onto that path lies in the ability to get beyond the original traumatic experience by learning to view it in a new way. The NLP trauma cure works by helping the person to see the painful experience as ‘dissociated’ – in other words, as if looking at yourself in the past through a different set of eyes, as an observer to rather than a participant in the traumatic experience. In Rowlings’ terms, the Dementors are driven away and the bad experiences can be viewed in a dissociated way, as something that happened to someone else a long time ago.
Professor Lupin explains to Harry that the only way to fight a Dementor is to conjure up a Patronus:

… a kind of Anti-Dementor – a guardian which acts as a shield between you and the Dementor. The Patronus is a kind of positive force, a projection of the very things that the Dementor feeds upon – hope, happiness, the desire to survive – but it cannot feel despair, as real humans can, so the Dementors can’t hurt it.” (p. 257)

However, the spell for conjuring a Patronus is very difficult even for a highly trained wizard and the teachers doubt that Harry can master it. A Patronus is conjured “with an incantation, which will work only if you are concentrating, with all your might, on a single, very happy memory.” In NLP, we might call this happy memory a powerful resource anchor.
Harry first sees the appearance of a mighty Patronus when he is in the direst danger from the Dementors beside the lake:

a pair of stong, clammy hands suddenly wrapped themselves around Harry’s neck …. He could feel its putrid breath …. and then, through the fog that was drowning him, he thought he saw a silver light, growing brighter and brighter … he felt himself fall forwards onto the grass … saw an animal amidst the light, galloping away across the lake .. it was as bright as a unicorn …Harry watched it canter to a halt as it reached the opposite shore …. somebody welcoming it back … raising his hand to pat it … someone who looked strangely familiar … but it couldn’t be … (p. 413 – 415)

Harry escaped thanks to the help of the mysterious ‘somebody’ who he initially believed to be his dead father. This escape is one of the most dramatic moments in the entire Harry Potter series because the Dementor was about to use its worst weapon on him:

The only time a Dementor lowers its hood is to use its last and worst weapon …. They call it the Dementor’s Kiss … it’s what Dementors do to those they wish to destroy utterly …. They clamp their jaws upon the mouth of the victim and – and suck out the soul …. You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you’ll have no sense of self any more, no memory … no anything. There’s no chance at all of recovery. You’ll just – exist. As an empty shell. And your soul is gone for ever … Lost. (p. 268)

It is only later when Harry uses the Time-Turner to go back in time that the author, Rowlings, reveals the true significance of the event. Harry is back watching the same event, seeing the Dementors move towards his younger self, and waiting passively for his father to appear at any moment to conjure the Patronus:

It was time for the rescuer to appear – but no one was coming to help this time – And then it hit him – he understood. He hadn’t seen his father – he had seen himself –
Harry flung himself out from behind the bush and pulled out his wand.

In the first occurrence of the scene, Harry had seen what he thought was his father driving away the Dementors. It is only when he watched it as an outside observer and realized that it was he himself who had performed the action that he was actually able carry it out. Later, when Harry tries to explain this rationale, he says: “I knew I could do it this time,” said Harry, “because I’d already done it … Does that make sense?” (p. 443). Harry has posed a good question here–does it make sense that visualizing an action allows you to carry it out more successfully in the real world when you actually do it?
NLP would definitely say that the answer is “yes.” Harry’s actions can be considered as an example of the New Behavior Generator in NLP. This involves visualizing a desired behavior, kinesthetically associating into the image, and then verbalizing anything else that needs to be present.
In Harry’s case, he saw a dissociated image of himself across the lake in the first episode, an image which was actually his father. However, seeing this dissociated image was not sufficient for him to carry out the same behavior. In other words, just watching someone or imagining ourselves doing something is not sufficient to achieve the desired result. It is when Harry kinesthetically stepped into the visualization and took action that he was able to do the astonishing feat of driving away the Dementors.
When Harry tells Hermione what happened, she is completely shocked:

Harry, I can’t believe it – you conjured up a Patronus that drove away all those Dementors! That’s very, very advanced magic …

Indeed, it is very, very advanced magic. NLP gives us the structure of this magic and allows us to break it down into sensory distinctions and actions that a person can learn and teach to other people. Just like Harry Potter uses the Time-Turner in the world of magic, so we too can use an NLP Time Line to revisit previous experiences and learn to see them in more useful ways. In a recent book (Bandler, 2008), one of the co-founders of NLP says:

Of course, we can’t change what happened to us. But we can change the way we respond to it–either consciously or unconsciously. (p. 192).

And creating a more useful response to previous experiences is just one of the areas where NLP can really help. While Harry Potter may live in a very different world where magic is real, NLP offers us  real-world tools that are almost as magical. The Time-Turner for Potter is NLP’s Time Line. Both act as tools allowing us to walk back to our past experiences, and to learn the strategies and acquire the resources that we needed at an earlier time in our life. Using the Time Line helps us to overcome the past traumas and the darkness of the Dementors, and walk forward into a brighter future.



Bandler, R. (2008). Make Your Life Great. London: HarperCollins
Dilts, R. B., & Delozier, J. A. (2000). Encyclopedia of Systemic Neuro-Linguistic Programming and NLP New Coding. N L P University Press.
Rowling, J. K. (1999). Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. London: Bloomsbury.

Blog Other

The Cinderella Communication Crisis

©2009 by Dr. Brian Cullen
Before we begin, I’d like to tell you a story because stories are wonderful for teaching, and wonderful for learning. In fact, research has shown that people learn 25% more when they relax before learning. And when I was growing up, my uncle used to tell me stories all the time, down by the sea, where the wind and the salt water would sometimes get in your eyes and make you blink. And blink again with the freshness and new feeling. Now he felt that stories were at the heart of communication, and he said that his grandfather told him the same stories. And his grandfather would always begin a story by saying, “Let your eyes grow sleepy now as you listen to this story that comes to us from a far off place now.”
And to really understand this story, you might want to really imagine it and the best way to do that is to just step into the relaxed feeling of letting your mind really flow with the story. So as you really enjoy that feeling, you might like to take the chance to relax even more so you can let your unconscious imagine the story really well and let yourself remember it at an even deeper level.
You know the story of Cinderella, don’t you. How it came to be that the Prince found Cinderella by placing the glass slipper on the foot of every woman in the city. And they lived happily ever after.
Or did they live happily ever after?
They got married in the winter, you know, and those first couple of months were wonderful as they gazed into each others eyes, listened to beautiful music together, held hands on their long walks, and talked late into the night.
When Spring came, they were discussing what to do for on one of the few free evenings that they didn’t have an official royal function.
So on this free night, the Prince said: “Cinderella, let’s go out to meet everyone and have some drinks under the cherry blossoms. There’ll be a great atmosphere down there tonight.” Later we’ll go dancing at the Undecided Fairy club and we’ll have a real ball.”
“Really?,” said Cinderella, doubtfully. “Actually, I was just hoping that we could just sit in and read this evening. I’m feeling a little tired. We could take a walk through the blossoms tomorrow – just the two of us. It’ll be lovely and peaceful then.”
“Hey, we’re going to have a great time,” he said. Come on, Cindy. What you really need is a good night out to energize you.”
And they just couldn’t seem to agree. So they had an argument, their first if the truth be told, and the truth is always told in fairy tales.
Spring drew to a close and the weather became warmer and warmer. And by summer, things were again fine between the loving couple. The weather was just glorious, so the King asked the Prince and Princess to host a great beach party for all the children of the country.
“Oh great”, said Cinderella. “We’ll have to order lots of buckets and spades. Let’s get the order in today to make sure that they arrive in plenty of time. And transportation – we’ll hire a team of buses to get them all down to the beach. Hmm, one last thing – oh yes, the weather. Can you talk to your fairy godmother and arrange some sun for the day?”
“Wait a minute, Cindy. Not so quick. This is a really interesting opportunity. Let’s think about all the possibilities for a while.”
They talked for a couple of minutes and Cinderella began to get hot and bothered. “Why can’t he just make a simple decision? We have to act now. It’s so simple and we just need to get to the point. Obviously, we just arrange some simple buckets and spades and set up a sandcastle building contest”
Meanwhile, the Prince was thinking, “why oh why can’t she see the big picture? This is such a wonderful opportunity for development for these children. There are so many possibilities and we really need to think through each one before we reach a decision.”
Within just a few minutes, they were screaming at each other, and then shouting all sorts of silly stuff that they had kept bottled up inside.
In early Autumn, they had again forgiven each other, but they didn’t quite understand the other’s point of view. It was worrying both of them quite a bit, especially now that they were trying to make an important decision together: choosing the location for the new palace. The real estate agent took them off to see the location and explained all the great features. The Prince was really impressed. It was on a great hill with a fine view. The rock was solid enough to be a strong foundation and there was no history of earthquakes in the area. They wandered around the site and the Prince was delighted. But Cinderella didn’t look quite so happy. Finally, she said, “yes, I know that it’s a very logical choice. Everything seems right, but it just doesn’t feel right.”
“Doesn’t feel right?! Here we are making the biggest purchase of our lives and you’re just worried about your feelings.”
“Exactly,” said Cinderella angrily. “We’re going to live here, so it has to feel exactly right.”
“It will feel right”, said the Prince. “Because all the right features are here. Just look around you and use your head.”
So they had their third argument, the biggest one yet.
But they didn’t quite understand how the other person was thinking. Everyone has arguments, but these seemed to go right to important issues that they needed to sort out.
When winter came to the land, they decided to plan their honeymoon. They had been so busy with royal duties and the wedding and officially opening statues of glass slippers that they hadn’t had time to go on a honeymoon.
“Where shall we go?”, asked the Prince cautiously. He was being careful tonight after all the arguments. He was going to let Cinderella have her way as much as possible. After all, she was the woman and the honeymoon would be more important to her.
“Oh, I don’t know”, answered Cinderella. How about just taking a couple of horses out and heading down south for a couple of weeks?
“What do you mean?” This is our honeymoon!,” stuttered the prince. We’ll have to book the hotels and arrange for the carriages and notify all the towns in advance so that the people can come out to wave at us.”
“We don’t need to worry about any of that stuff. Let’s just go with the flow. I don’t like to plan too much. It just gets in the way of having fun.”
“Gets in the way of having fun?! How can we possibly have fun if we don’t know what we’re going to be doing?”
Oh dear, yet another argument.
They say that you shouldn’t allow any communication strain in a relationship last more than a week without addressing, so they decided to call on the Wizard, a great counselor who could surely help them to save their marriage. After all, it would be embarrassing if they had to get a divorce after the fairy story books had already been written.
So off they went to the wizard’s den where the wizard asked them to tell him about the problems between them.
The Prince said: “Wizard, we need your help. She is just incomprehensible. Take out your wand. We need to change her into a normal person.”
“What”, cried Cinderella. “You want to change me. I’m the one who’s normal. You’re the crazy one. Wizard, get out your wand and change this man into something that I can understand, a frog, for example. ”
“Oh dear,” said the wizard. “I see that you two really do have some problems understanding each other.
And then he said something really strange, so out of the blue that it made them really curious about what he was trying to communicate.


Because communication can be strange sometimes, can’t it? Sometimes, we have real difficulty in understanding someone’s else view of the world.
For example, I read a funny story about teaching the other day.
There was a rather eccentric lecturer named John Moffit. John was known for his strong view about the role of the teacher. One of the other lecturers arrived at work on this particular morning and passed by the main lecture theatre on the way to his class. He happened to glance in, and saw John Moffit giving a most rousing lecture from the front of the room. John was gesturing enthusiastically, and eagerly writing on the board. But when the other lecturer looked around the lecture theatre, it was totally empty. A little concerned about John’s sanity, he decided to raise the matter gently at morning tea later on.
“John,” he observed “I saw you teaching over in the lecture theatre this morning.”
“Yeeees.” John replied with a wide smile.
“But John, I must say I noticed that there didn’t seem to be any students there.”
“Yes, thet’s right. No-one turned up this morning.”
“And I noticed,” the other man continued, “that you were still teaching.” He waited hoping for some simple explanation.
Sure enough, John replied “Yes, thet’s right. Well, they pay me to teach, and that’s what I was doing!”
“It was at this moment”, the other lecturer told me, “that you realize that teaching and learning are two separate things”.
And you realize that people’s attitudes to teaching and indeed their attitudes to the whole world are completely different. And that’s where Metaprograms come in. Because you’ll also notice when you look at people that some people are different in the same way. In other words, their differences show certain patterns. And these same differences are metaprograms, and I think they are very useful for thinking about teaching and learning, and in fact in all types of communication. You can think of metaprograms as strategies that we use to put our values into action. Because when we are trying to communicate, we are trying to open up communication channels, to engage in communication, not necessarily trying to persuade or accept another person’s values.


So the wizard said to Cinderella and the Prince: “I see that you two really do have some problems understanding each other.
And then he said something really strange, so out of the blue that it made them really curious about what he was trying to communicate.
Alright, both of you, please take off your shoes.”
“Our shoes?!”
“Yes, yes, quickly take off your shoes.”
Looking very confused, the Prince took off his great big black size 11 hunting boots and Cinderella took off her beautiful, dainty size 5 glass slippers.
“Now,” said the wizard. “Put on each others shoes.”
“What?”, said both of them together.
“They’re too big and horrible,” shouted Cinderella just as the Prince was shouting, “they’re much too small and dainty.”
“Quiet, both of you,” said the wizard sharply, “or I really will use my wand and change you both into pumpkins and eat you for my supper.”
So the Prince and Cinderella looked at each other worriedly and quickly put on each others shoes.
“Now,” said the wizard. “Walk around the large courtyard past the fountain and don’t even dream of coming back before you have finished.”
So the Prince got up and promptly fell over as his huge size 11 feet slipped out of the dainty glass slippers. And Cinderella landed down on the ground next to him as her tiny size 5 feet got lost in his big black size 11 hunting boots.
“Up, up, and out of my sight,” shouted the wizard, waving his wand and shouting out a strange incantation: “Tea-a-me-Ton-a-me, Got-a-be, Song”.
Seeing and hearing this, the Prince and Princess scurried out of the wizard’s den, half crawling, half walking, fully annoyed at the crazy old man.
“He’s mad, you know,” said the Prince. “We should never have gone to him. He’s gone and cast some crazy spell on us. I should have listened to my friends. They said he’s completely flipped since the territory war with the Fairy Godmother.”
“Oh shut up and leave her out of it.” said Cinderella. “Let’s get this over with. How on earth do you walk in these things? They are so ungainly. I never knew that you had such big feet. You must trip over yourself all the time.”
“Trip up? What are you talking about? I’m Prince Charming, you know. You didn’t notice me tripping up when we were dancing at the ball, did you?”
“Well no, I guess not,” said Cinderella.
“And how do you get around in these tiny things? They’re made of glass, you know. Aren’t you afraid of breaking them?”
“Of course not. They’re absolutely perfect for me. Just you be careful with them.”
“I am being careful, really careful”, said the Prince. “It’s funny. They seemed so odd to walk in at first, but it is becoming a little easier now.”
“Yes, you’re right”, answered Cinderella. It is funny that these boots aren’t quite as bad as they were before. With a couple of weeks of Sunday newspaper supplements stuffed in the toes, I could probably wear them comfortably enough. But of course, I wouldn’t want to.”
“No. That would be silly,” said the Prince, “but I do know how you can like these slippers. They are awfully pretty and they suit you.”
And as the couple walked around the courtyard, they talked more freely than they had done in months. It felt like they were actually communicating again and they even started to laugh at their own predicament.
And by the time, they came back around past the fountain, they were hobbling along hand in hand, laughing and giggling like two little garden gnomes.
“Hey wizard, we’re back”, called out the Prince when they turned the corner and saw him waiting at the door of his den, a peaceful look upon his old face.
The wizard gestured to them to sit down and poured them some tea.
“So you two seem to be getting on a little better.”
“Yes, what was that spell that you cast on us when we left?”, asked Cinderella. “It must have been very powerful to work so quickly.”
“Spell?”, asked the wizard. “I didn’t cast any spell on you. I just cast a spell to boil water for the tea. I can’t use my wand to bring you two back together. That would be a breach of ethics and the Merlin league would throw me out right away.”
“So what did you do,” asked Cinderella.
The wizard laughed and answered, “I just wanted you to remember the old saying: ‘You’ll never really understand someone until you walk in their shoes for a mile.”
The couple looked at each other in confusion while the wizard continued: “You two, more than anyone else in the country should have realized that. Cinderella, don’t you remember that your shoes were created by magic. They were created just for you. And my noble Prince, I thought you would have remembered how everyone has different feet. How many ladies did you try to put that same glass slipper onto?
“Oh hundreds and hundreds,”answered the Prince, “but Cinderella is unique. She’s completely unique. That’s why I love her so much.”
“And you’re unique, too, my great bigfooted Prince. How many other guys would have been so patient? You’re completely crazy, but I love you so much.”
And so the wizard showed them how they could understand each other and experience the world in a different way by wearing different shoes.
And just before they went off to live happily ever after, the Prince turned back and said to the wizard, “thank you so much wizard, you really do have powerful magic”.
“Of course I have magic,” snorted the wizard. “We all have magic in every word that we say. But everyone responds to that magic in their own unique way. You can be a wizard. Just learn the structure of magic.”
This is a story that I wrote for a seminar on metaprograms that I carried out a few years ago for a teacher training session. I can’t remember where the story in the middle about the teachers came from. I may have written it myself or adapted it from somewhere else.


Blog Hypnosis Reviews

Review: Richard Bandler's Guide to Transformation: Make Your Life Great

This is one of the most useful NLP books that I have read recently, and it reminds me again that Bandler’s work lies at the very heart of NLP, remaining far more important than some of the other components that have been bolted on to classic NLP over the years. In particular, it focuses on submodalities and the utilization of trance states. The book is divided into four sections.

Part 1: Patterns of Process and Elicitation: How People Create Their Reality and How We Can Know
This introduces some basic NLP techniques such as disocciation, the visual squash, submodalities, and modeling in a very reader-friendly fashion.
Part 2: Patterns of Induction: Hypnosis and the Art of Creating Powerful Learning States
Here we get into the core of the book where Bandler discusses trance induction.
Part 3: Patterns of Utilization: Using the Tools of Trance-formation
This section gives examples of how to utilize trance states effectively to achieve change.
Part 4: Trance-formation in Action
Here we find two full trance inductions which show the mastery of Bandler’s language. This is followed by two transcribed client sessions with editorial annotations showing how Bandler uses the language patterns of NLP and hypnosis to achieve change in clients. The transcriptions show effective use of humour, great listening skills, and a corresponding ability to identify the client’s important submodalities.
The resource files at the back of the book are a useful reminder of the Metamodel, Milton model, submodalities, and other useful areas.
The book also includes a DVD which features Bandler on stage carrying out rapid inductions. While he is clearly a fine entertainer and he entertains the audience greatly, he also carries out phenomenal learning trances and healing trances on the volunteers. He turns traumas into giggles and makes neck pains disappear within a couple of minutes. Bandler’s long experience and mastery with inducing and using different forms of trance is apparent through his instant inductions and powerful embedded commands. The DVD alone would have been worth the price of the book, and it is worth coming back to again and again to see a true master of hypnosis at work.
For someone new to NLP, this book will not give a comprehensive picture of the field of NLP as it is generally known and taught, but what it does offer is a strong introduction to the work of Richard Bandler with a much stronger focus on trance states than most NLP books or training programs.